Octavia E. Butler Writing Styles in Parable of the Sower

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Dystopia

A dystopia is an unpleasant, sometimes frightening, imaginary future world. Dystopias usually take undesirable aspects of present-day society and depict a world in which those aspects have become dominant. In Parable of the Sower, Butler creates a dystopia by magnifying some disturbing social trends that occurred in the United States in the late 1980s and early 1990s. These trends included the widespread use of designer drugs (custom-made, mind-altering drugs such as Ecstasy). In the novel, use of the drug pyro reaches epidemic proportions. It makes people commit arson because doing so feels better than sex. Another trend in the 1990s was the increasing popularity, particularly in California, of gated communities protected by security fences. These become the walled communities in 2024 California. In both cases, the walls go up because of fear of crime. Homelessness, illiteracy, and global warming were other issues in the 1990s that appear in larger...

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This section contains 345 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Parable of the Sower Study Guide
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Novels for Students
Parable of the Sower from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.